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|Named Person:||George A Custer; George Armstrong Custer|
|All Authors / Contributors:||
Louise K Barnett
|Description:||xiv, 540 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.|
|Contents:||Includes bibliographical references and index.|
Alternately invoked as the personification of absolute folly and pure bravery, Custer resonates in our national imagination yet eludes simple definition - each generation recasts the man and his death according to its need for a particular vision of America.
Touched by Fire undertakes the search for, as one historian put it, "a man waiting to be discovered" between the extremes of his experience. Renowned for his love of pranks at West Point, where he graduated last in his class, Custer had a flair for heroic achievement that brought him phenomenal glory in the Civil War as one of the Union's youngest generals, but left him mostly frustrated on the lonely plains.
Author Louise Barnett traces all the complexities of this erratic personality, fully incorporating into her account his wife, Elizabeth Bacon Custer - "Libbie" - whose unusual spousal devotion endured through fifty-seven years of widowhood.
Bringing a new racial perspective to Custer's legend and including new material that surfaced in archaeological excavations of the battlefields in the 1980s, Barnett attempts to understand how a man famed for brilliant military performance came to wage an impossible attack near a small stream called the Little Bighorn. Beyond the transfixing moment of the Last Stand, Barnett shows us another Custer who equally seizes the imagination.